Ideas for small space food gardens


Space should never be what stops you from growing your own food with confidence. Whether you live in a studio apartment or share a basement with three other people, a little creativity will get you growing plants in no time.

There are even many different edible plants (ie. fruits, vegetables and herbs) that you can grow with spaces as small as an aluminum can! So if you have even that much space indoors or outdoors, here are three ideas that can get you started.


Go vertical with vertical gardening

More often than not, when you first plan on starting a garden, you’re planning it based on a two-dimensional space. You look at your floor or your yard and think of how many square meters you have. But by only looking at two dimensions, you are missing out on a lot of potential unused space.

Vertical gardening adds another dimension, height. So if you feel limited by the size of your space, look into how high of a space you have to grow. Whether it’s a wall, a fence, or a small tile in your floor, the idea of vertical gardening unlocks much more space in your home for the plants you want to grow.


Indoors: put up a wall planter

Every home has a wall and every wall is potential for space, no matter how small. Take advantage of all that vertical real estate and put up a food garden. You can grow quite a variety of plants, such as herbs like cilantro and basil.


Try these wall planters from Wolly Pocket from $18 USD

Wall planters, such as the Wally planters above, are a great way to get started with vertical gardening as you can stack multiple planters on top of each other. Just make sure to put them up on a wall facing a window so they get plenty of natural light.

Outdoors: stack the pots

Vertical gardening may sound complex to a beginner gardener, but the reality is far from it. It is as simple as stacking your containers on top of each other, allowing you to grow much more per square meter. Think of it as gardening Jenga. Plants that don’t take up a lot of space, such as peppers or herbs, are great for this type of gardening.


Image from Daily Women Talks

Eager to get started? Try making your own three-tiered planter. But if you’re worried about stacking ceramic pots or short on time, Mr. Stacky sells stackable planters for under $50 USD.

These are only a couple examples of vertical gardening. Imagine the amount of space between your floor and your ceiling; or better yet, the ground and the sky. Do you still feel you are short on space to grow a garden? All that space is open for you  to start a garden today!


Let things hang

Similar to vertical gardening, another way you can grow a garden with limited space is by letting planters hang from above. Many edible plants, like tomatoes, peas, peppers or strawberries, do not actually require deep soil to grow. This means these plants can grow in many different locations including ceilings, window sills or balconies.


Indoor: hang a plant in your living room

Not only can growing plants indoors make your room a calmer place; it can be quite a decorative addition to your living room. For example, hang a mint plant and use it to garnish your mojitos when having guests over.


Get your own hanging planter from Urban Outfitters

You can get your own hanging planter such as the one above in almost any garden store too. But if you want to build one yourself, here’s one example from Hello There Home to get you inspired.


Outdoor: use your windows

Anyone living in an apartment may be challenged to find any outdoor space at all. But don’t fret. One simple solution is to put a small window box on your window. You can grow almost any plant in these boxes, just keep in mind how much sunlight you are getting as some plants require more light than others.


Image from Garden Visit

You can get your own window box online from sites such as Gardener’s for under $50 USD. Or if you are feeling ambitious, consider making your own window box.

If you’re worried about whether your ceiling, window or wall can bear the weight of your hanging plants, grow compact herbs like parsley or mint.  On the other hand, if you are willing to take on a bigger project on indoor gardening, let us pique your curiosity with hydroponics: gardening without soil.


Start small

This may seem like an obvious idea, but we feel it’s important to remind every gardener, beginners and experts alike. Set realistic and simple goals for yourself. For instance, start with finding space for one plant, instead of worrying that you don’t have enough room for all the plants you want to grow.

Have the best darn mint in your apartment building. Grow enough lettuce in your window box to sustain your weekly lettuce needs. Once you build the confidence from one plant, then go ahead and grow more!

I hope this has helped inspire some ideas to confidently grow plants in your space. For more ideas come check out our Pinterest board on small space gardening ideas.

 Header image from Jeff Sheldon

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